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Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Page: 6979

Dr EMERSON (Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors and the Service Economy, Minister Assisting the Finance Minister on Deregulation and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs) (11:26 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill amends the ACIS Administration Act 1999 to ensure the smooth transition from the current Automotive Competitiveness and Investment Scheme, ACIS for short, to its replacement, the Automotive Transformation Scheme.

This bill, together with the Automotive Transformation Scheme Bill, will give effect to the government’s policies to revitalise the Australian automotive industry though increased support for investment and innovation. This support is necessary to ensure the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of the industry.

The replacement of assistance under ACIS from 2011, by a new, retargeted and greener scheme is a key element of the government’s A New Car Plan for a Greener Future. It demonstrates once again the government’s commitment to secure the future of this vital industry to the Australian economy.

This bill repeals ACIS stage 3 to allow for its replacement with the Automotive Transformation Scheme. The bill also provides increased assistance to motor vehicle producers in 2010, as part of the transitional arrangements prior to the establishment of the Automotive Transformation Scheme. This increase in transitional support in 2010 provides the industry with the certainty it requires to continue long-term strategic investment as it meets the challenges of a reduced rate of tariff protection and the global economic downturn. The Australian government believes that the key to the future of the industry is innovation, not tariff protection.

The bill also corrects an anomaly in ACIS where the level of assistance for vehicles sold for export is less than assistance for vehicles sold domestically.

I commend this bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Pearce) adjourned.